Each week, we release a new set of brushes for SketchBook Pro members to add to their collection. This week, we’ve got a set of brushes and stamps that let you add little sparkly details to your art. Download the Sparkles, Neon, and FX Brush Set and put a glint in a character’s eye, add a flurry of dust motes to a scene, or paint in neon colors.
Dust in the Wind
With the dust mote brushes, you can create atmosphere and depth. A great example of how to use this is this drawing that came out of the recent DOTA 2 Beyond The Summit tournament.
Bright Idea: Neon Animation
The Neon tube brushes in this set have the best effect when using color. You’ll see that the inner part of the stroke turns bright white, and the color glows around the edges like a neon tube. Our community manager Renée created this neon sign using the Smooth Neon brush and then animated it using the Flipbook options. If you’ve never used Flipbook, this is a quick and easy exercise for getting familiar with how it works.
First, she drew the image in SketchBook, making sure the neon was on its own layer. Having the details be on separate layers allowed her to save out two images: the background combined with a dark “at” (left), and the “at” on its own lit up as a transparent PNG (right).
Then, she imported both of the images into Flipbook for animation. To import any image in Flipbook, go to the File menu, select Add Image and make sure you have selected the correct layer. Whichever layer is selected when you choose this command is where the image will end up.
Renée chose to put the finished artwork on the background layer and then import the “at” twice on the foreground and mid-ground layers. Why twice? Once for the bright neon light and once for the reflection on the glass behind the light.
With SketchBook’s Flipbook mode only the foreground and midground layers can be animated and will change over time. The background layer in Flipbook is meant to be an “animation plate” — fancy animation speak that means it won’t move or change at all.
Using the eye icon, Renée hid the layers to make the sign appear to be flickering.
And simple as that, you’ve got a neon flickering sign.
Installing the brush sets
Being able to share and install these weekly free brush sets in the desktop app is one of the features for SketchBook subscribers. If you’re using the latest desktop version of SketchBook, simply double click on the .skbrushes file, and it will automatically install. Check out this article for all the details about brushes and legacy versions. If you haven’t tried the subscription, you can download a free trial and unlock Pro membership for 15 days (no credit card required).